Page images
PDF
EPUB

The arınaments which thunderstrike the And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy

walls

of youthful sports was on thy breast to be of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake, Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy And monarchs tremble in their capitals, I wanton'd with thy breakers—they to me The oak-leviathans, whose huge ribs make Were a delight, and if the freshening sea Their clay-creator the vain title take Made them a terror—'twas a pleasing fear, Of lord of thee, und

iter of war:

For I was as it were a child of thee, These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, And trusted to thy billows far and near, They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Tra

here. falgar.

My task is done—my song hath ceased Thy shores are empires, changed in all

save thee

Has died into an echo; it is fit Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what The pell should break of this protracted are they?

dream. Thy waters wasted them while they were The torch shall be extinguish'd which free,

hath lit And many a tyrant since; their shores obey My midnight lamp-and what is writ, is The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay

writ.Has dried up realms to deserts:--not so thou, Would it were worthier! but I am not now Unchangeable save to thy wildwaves' play That which I have been- and my visions flit Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow, Less palpably before me--and the glow Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rol. Which in my spirit dwelt, is fluttering, lest now.

faint, and low.

my theme

scene

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's Farewell! a word that must be, and hath form

been Glasses itself in tempests ; in all time, A sound which makes us linger ;-yetCalm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or

farewell! storm,

Ye! who have traced the Pilgrim to the Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime Dark-heaving ; boundless, endless, and which is his last, if in your memories dwell

sublime A thought which once was his, if on ye swell The image of eternity—the throne A single recollection, not in vain of the Invisible; even from out thy slime He wore his sandal-shoon and scallop-shell; The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Farewell! with him alone may rest the pain, Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fa- If such there were—with you, the moral of thomless, alone.

his strain !

TH E GIA 0 U R,

A FRAGMENT OF A TURKISH TALE.

"One fatal remembrance--one sorrow that throws
"Its bleak shade alike o'er our joys and oar woes
"To which Life nothing darker nor brighter can bring,
"For which joy hath no balm-and affliction no sting."

MOORE.

TO

AS A

SLIGHT BUT MOST SINCERE TOKEN OF

OBLIGED AND AFFECTIONATE SERVANT,

enterprisc. The story, when entire, conSAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.

tained the adventures of a female slave, who

was thrown, in the Mussulman manner, ADMIRATION OF HIS GENIUS, RESPECT FOR H18 into the sea for infidelity, and avenged by CHARACTER, AND GRATITUDE FOR HIS FRIEND

a young Venetian, her lover, at the time SUIP; THIS PRODUCTION 18 INSCRIBED BY HIS the Seven Islands were possessed by the Re

public of Venice, and soon after the Arnauts BYRON.

were beaten back from the Morea, which

they had ravaged for some time subsequent ADVERTISEMENT.

to the Russian invasion. The desertion of Trx Tale which these disjointed fragments the Mainotes, on being refused the plunder present, is founded upon circumstances now of Misitra, led to the abandonment of that less common in the East than formerly; enterprise and to the desolation of the Morea, either because the ladies are more circum- during which the cruelty exercised on all spect than in the "olden time;" or because sides was unparalleled even in the annals the Christians have better fortune, or less of the faithful.

No breath of air to break the wave By every breeze and season blest,
That rolls below the Athenian's grave, Returns the sweets by nature given
That tomb which, gleaming o'er the cliff, In softest incense back to heaven;
First greets the homeward-veering, skiff, And grateful yields that smiling sky
High o'er the land he saved in vain: Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh.
When shall such hero live again? And many a summer-flower is there,

And many a shade that love might share,
And many a grotto, meant for rest,

That holds the pirate for a guest;
Fair clime! where every season smiles Whose bark in sheltering cove below
Benignant o'er those blessed isles, Lurks for the passing peaceful prow,
Which, seen from far Colonna's height, Till the gay mariner's guitar
Make glad the heart that hails the sight, Is heard, and seen the evening-star;
And lend to loneliness delight.

Then stealing with the muffled oar, There mildly dimpling, Ocean's cheek Far shaded by the rocky shore, Reflects the tints of many a peak Rush the night-prowlers on the prey, Caught by the laughing iides that lave And turn to groans his roundelay. These Edens of the eastern wave; Strange-that where Nature loved to trace, And if at times a transient breeze As if for Gods, a dwelling-place, Break the blue crystal of the seas, And every charm and grace hath mix'd Or sweep one blossom from the trees, Within the paradise she fix'd, How welcome is each gentle air

There man, enamour'd of distress, That wakes and wafts the odours there! Should inar it into wilderness, For there-the Rose o'er crag or vale, And trample, brute-like, n'er each flower Sultana of the Nightingale,

That tasks not one laborious hour, The maid for whom his melody,

Nor claims the culture of his hand His thousand songs are heard on high, To bloom along the fairy-land, Blooms blushing to her lover's tale: But springs as to preclude his care, His

queen, the garden-queen, his Rose, And sweetly woos him—but to spare ! Unbent by winds, unchill'd by snows, Strange—that where all is peace beside Far from the winters of the west,

There passion riots in her pride,

And lust and rapine wildly reign That Tyranny shall quake to hear,
To darken o'er the fair domain.

And leave his sons a hope, a fame,
It is as though the fiends prevailid They too will rather die than shame :
Against the seraphs they assail'd,

For Freedom's battle once begun, And, fix'd on heavenly thrones, should dwell Bequeath'd by bleeding Sire to Son, The freed inheritors of hell;

Though baffled oft is ever won. So soft the scene, so form'd for joy, Bear witness, Greece, thy living page, So curst the tyrants that destroy! Attest it many a deathless age!

While kings, in dusty darkness hid, He who hath bent him o'er the dead

Have left a nameless pyramid, Ere the first day of death is filed,

Thy heroes, though the general doom The first dark day of nothingness,

Haih swept the column from their tomb, The last of danger and distress,

A mightier monument command,

The mountains of their native land! (Before Decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,) The graves of those that cannot

die!

There points thy Muse to stranger's eye And mark'd the mild angelic air, The rapture of repose that's there,

'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace, The fix’d, yet tender traits that streak

Each step from splendour to disgrace ; The languor of the placid cheek,

Enough-no foreign foe could quell And-but for that sad shrouded eye,

Thy soul, till from itself it fell;

Yes! Self-abasement paved the way
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
And but for that chill changeless brow,

To villain-bonds and despot-sway.
Where cold Obstruction's apathy
Appals the gazing mourner's heart, What can he tell who treads thy shore?
As if to him it could impart

No legend of thine olden time,
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon; No theme on which the muse might soar,
Yes, but for these, and these alone, High as thine own in days of yore,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour, When man was worthy of thy clime.
He still might doubt the tyrant's power; The hearts within thy valleys bred,
So fair, so calm, so softly seald,

The fiery souls that might have led
The first, last look by death reveal'd! Thy sons to deeds sublime,
Such is the aspect of this shore ;

Now crawl from cradle to the grave, Tis Greece, but living Greece no more! Slaves—nay, the bondsmen of a slave, So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,

And callous, save to crime;
We start, for soul is wanting there, Stain’d with each evil that pollutes
Here is the loveliness in death,

Mankind, where least above the brutes;
That parts not quite with parting breath; Without even savage virtue blest,
But beauty with that fearful bloom, Without one free or valiant breast.
That hue which haunts it to the tomb, Still to the neighbouring ports they waft
Expression's last receding ray,

Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft ; A gilded halo hovering round decay, In this the subtle Greek is found, The farewell beam of Feeling past away! For this, and this alone, renown'd. Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly In vain might Liberty invoke

birth,

The spirit to its bondage broke, Which gleams, but warms no more its Or raise the neck that courts the yoke :

cherish'd earth! No more her sorrows I bewail,

Yet this will be a mournful tale,

And they who listen may believe, Clime of the unforgotten brave!

Who heard it first had cause to grieve. Whose land from plain to mountain-cave Was Freedom's home or Glory's grave! Shrine of the mighty! can it be, That this is all remains of thee?

Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing,
Approach, thou craven crouching slave: The shadows of the rocks advancing,
Say, is not this Thermopylae ?

Start on the fisher's eye like boat
These waters blue that round you lave, of island-pirate or Mainote;
Oh servile offspring of the free-

And fearful for his light caique, Pronounce what sea, what shore is this? He shuns the near but doubtful creek : The gulf, the rock of Salamis !

Though worn and weary with his toil, These scenes, their story not unknown, And cumberd with his scaly spoil, Arise, and make again your own; Slowly, yet strongly, plies the oar, Snatch from the ashes of your sires Till Port Leone's safer shore The embers of their former fires;

Receives him by the lovely light And he who in the strife expires

That best becomes an Eastern night. Will add to theirs a name of fear

Who thundering comes on blackest steed, | As doubting to return or fly: With slacken'd bit and hoof of speed ? Impatient of his flight delay'd, Beneath the clattering iron's sound Here loud his raven charger neighdThe cavernd echoes wake around Down glanced that hand, and grasp'd his In lash for lash, and bound for bound;

blade; The foam that streaks the courser's side That sound had burst his waking dream, Seems gather'd from the ocean-tide : As Slumber starts at owlet's scream Though weary waves are sunk to rest, The spur hath lanced his courser's sides; There's none within his rider's breast; Away, away, for life he rides : And though to-morrow's tempest lower, Swift as the hurld on high jerreed Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour! Springs to the touch his startled steed; I know thee not, I loathe thy race,

The rock is doubled, and the shore But in thy lineaments I trace

Shakes with the clattering tramp no more ; What time shall strengthen, not efface : The crag is won, no more is seen Though young and pale, that sallow front His Christian crest and haughty mien. Is scathed by fiery passion's brunt; 'Twas but an instant he restrain d Though bent on earth thine evil eye, That fiery barb so sternly rein'd; As meteor-like thou glidest by,

'Twas but a moment that he stood, Right well I view and deem thee one Then sped as if by death pursued; Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun. But in that instant o'er his soul

Winters of Memory seem'd to roll, On-on he hasten'd, and he drew And gather in that drop of time My gaze of wonder as he flew :

A life of pain, an age of crime. Though like a demon of the night O’er him who loves, or hates, or fears, He pass'd and vanish'd from my sight,

Such moment pours the grief of years: His aspect and his air impress'd

What felt he then, at once opprest A troubled memory on my breast, By all that most distracts the breast? And long upon my startled ear

That pause, which ponder'd o'er his fate, Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear. Oh, who its dreary length shall date! He spurs his steed; he nears the steep, Though in Time's record nearly nought, That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep; It was Eternity to Thought! He winds around; he hurries by;

For infinite as boundless space The rock relieves him from mine eye; The thought that Conscience must embrace, For well I ween unwelcome he

Which in itself can comprehend Whose glance is fix'd on those that flee, Woe without name, or hope, or end. And not a star but shines too bright On him who takes such timeless flight. The hour is past, the Giaour is gone; He wound along; but ere he pass'd

And did he fly or fall alone? One glance he snatch'd, as if his last,

Woe to that hour he came or went!
A moment check'd his wheeling steed,

The curse for Hassan's sin was sent
A moment breathed him from his speed, To turn a palace to a tomb :
A moment on his stirrup stood -

He came, he went, like the Simoom, Why looks he o'er the olive-wood ?

.That harbinger of fate and gloom, The crescent glimmers on the hill,

Beneath whose widely-wasting breath The Mosque's high lamps are quivering The very cypress droops to death

still:

Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is Though too remote for sound to wake

fled, la echoes of the far tophaike,

The only constant mourner o'er the dead! The flashes of each joyous peal Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal. To-night, set Rhamazani's sun ;

The steed is vanish'd from the stall; To-night, the Bairam-feast's began; No serf is seen in Hassan's hall; To-night-but who and what art thou The lonely Spider's thin grey pall Of foreign garb and fearful brow? Waves slowly widening o'er the wall; And what are these to thine or thee, The Bat builds in his Haram-bower; That thou should'st either pause or flee? And in the fortress of his power He stood-some dread was on his face, The Owl usurps the beacon-tower; Soon Hatred settled in its place:

The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's briin, It rose not with the reddening flush With baffled thirst, and famine, grim of transient Anger's darkening blush, For the stream has shrunk from its marble But pale as marble o'er the tomb,

bed, Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom. Where the weeds and the desolate dust His brow was bent, his eye was glazed ;

are spread. He raised his arm, and fiercely raised, 'Twas sweet of yore to see it play And sternly shook his hand on high, And chase the sultriness of day,

.

As springing high the silver-dew The burthen yo so gently bear,
In whirls fantastically flew,

Seems one that claims your utmost care,
And Rung luxuriofis coolness round And, doubtless, holds some precious freight,
The air, and verdure o'er the ground. My humble bark would gladly wait."
'T'was sweet, when cloudless stars were

bright,

“Thou speakest sooth, thy skiff unmoor, To view the waves of watery light, And wast us froin the silent shore; And hear its melody by night.

Nay, leave the sail still furl'd, and ply And oft had Hassan's Childhood play'd

The nearest oar that's scatter'd by, Around the verge of that cascade;

And midway to those rocks where sleep And oft upon his mother's breast

The channel'd waters dark and deep. That sound had harmonized his rest;

Rest from your task --S0—bravely done, And oft had Hassan's Youth along

Our course has been right swiftly ran; Its bank been soothed by Beauty's song ; Yet 'tis the longest voyage, I trow, And softer seem'd each melting tone That one of Of Music mingled with its own. But ne'er shall Hassan's Age reposo Along the brink at Twilight's close: The stream that fillid that font is fled

Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank, The blood that warm'd his heart is shed! The calm wave rippled to the bank; And here no more shall human voice

I watch'd it as it sank, methought Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice.

Some motion from the current caught The last sad note that swell’d the gale

Bestirred it more,-'twas but the beam Was woman's wildest funeral wail: That chequered o'er the living stream : That quenched in silence, all is still,

I gazed, till vanishing from view, But the lattice that flaps when the wind Like lessening pebble it withdrew;

is shrill:

Still less and less, a speck of white Though raves the gust, and floods the rain, That gemm’d the tide, then mock'd the No hand shall close its clasp again.

sight; On desert sands 'twere joy to scan

And all its hidden secrets sleep, The rudest steps of fellow-man:

known but to Genii of the deep, So here the very voice of Grief

Which, trembling in their coral caves, Might wake an Echo like relief They dare not whisper to the waves. At least 'twould say, "all are not gone ; There lingers Life, though but in oneFor many a gilded chamber's there,

As rising on its purple wing Which Solitude might well forbear ; The insect-queen of eastern spring, Within that dome as yet Decay

O’er emerald-mendows of Kashineer Hath slowly work'd her cankering way-Invites the young pursuer near, But gloom is gather'd o'er the gate, And leads him on from flower to flower Nor there the Fakir's self will wait, A weary chase and wasted hour, Nor there will wandering Dervise stay, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, For Bounty cheers not his delay; With panting heart and tearful eye: Nor there will weary stranger halt So Beauty lures the full-grown child, To bless the sacred “bread and salt." With hue as bright, and wing as wild ; Alike must Wealth and Poverty

A chase of idle hopes and fears, Pass heedless and unheeded by,

Begun in folly, closed in tears.
For Courtesy and Pity died

If won, to equal ills betray'd,
With Hassan on the mountain-side. Woe waits the insect and the maid ;
His roof, that refuge unto men,

A life of pain, the loss of peace,
Is desolation's hungry den.

From infant's play, and man's caprice: The guest flies the hall, and the vassal The lovely toy so fiercely sought

from labour, Hath lost its charm by being caught. Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's For every touch that wooed its stay

sabre!

Hath brush'd its brightest hues away,
Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone,

'T'is left to fly or fall alone.
I hear the sound of coming feet, With wounded wing, or bleeding breast,
But not a voice mine ear to greet ; Ah! where shall either victim rest?
More near--each turban I can scan, Can this with faded pinion soar
And silver-sheathed ataghan;

From rose to tulip as before ? The foremost of the band is seen,

Or Beauty, blighted in an hour, An Emir by his garb of green :

Find joy within her broken bower? Ho! who art thou ?--this low salam No: gayer insects futtering by Replies of Moslem faith I am.

Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that dic,

« PreviousContinue »